GoDaddy, the company that empowers everyday entrepreneurs, recently released the 2020 Global Entrepreneurship Survey which finds micro-businesses in India are optimistic about the future of their very small business, amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. With more than 60 percent of the Indian very small business owners responding that despite the slowdown and negative impact brought on by the pandemic, they are confident that their business will continue (as compared to 52 percent globally). The survey further reveals strong values of resilience, self-reliance and zeal for digital skilling amongst Indian entrepreneurs – indicating a strong commitment to fight back in a post COVID-19 new normal environment.
Micro-businesses continue to remain positive despite setbacks. The overwhelming majority of Indian very small business owners surveyed (88 percent) believe that their business will grow in the next three to five years, with 43 percent responding they expect growth of at least 50 percent, and another 45 percent expecting to growth of at least 25 percent. Additionally, 57 percent of the respondents said they expect to be able to recover from the aftermath of COVID within the next three to 12 months. This clearly states how determined SMBs in India are to get back on track.
The survey also studies the challenges micro-businesses are facing during the current pandemic. Eighty-three percent of the Indian entrepreneurs surveyed reported a reduction in revenue and nearly half of them had to shut their business (45 percent) temporarily. Additionally, 45 percent had to make changes in the way they operated. Many small businesses in India are being impacted by low financial investment due to the COVID-19 environment, with more than 70 percent of respondents reported experiencing an overall decrease in investment. Forty-eight percent of these small businesses said that maintaining cash flow was the most pressing need to keep their business running during this crisis period. But even with these challenges, the survey observed that very small Indian businesses are stepping up, with 56 percent of them believing it is more important now to positively impact their community, as compared to 41 percent globally. Additionally, 37 percent say they started donating to charitable causes as compared to 17 percent globally.
The survey also highlights how digital technology has proven to be a key growth enabler during these tough times. As a result of the national lockdown due to COVID-19, 53 percent said they will focus on accelerating online/social selling capabilities. Moreover, about one third of the respondents from India said that this year they might increase financial investment in digital education (35 percent) and cyber security & data privacy (32 percent). As the most common mode of communicating with their customers, 35 percent of Indian respondents prefer to engage through a phone call (as compared to 25 percent globally), rather than by email, direct message or an in-person visit. Thinking about the long-lasting implications on work post COVID-19, 40 percent of the entrepreneurs in India are ready to modify their policies related to allowing remote work.
“It is encouraging to see the resilience and optimism of Indian micro-business owners during these challenging times. While it is always good to maintain a positive outlook to help overcome present challenges, entrepreneurs in India are showing what the entrepreneurial spirit is about. They may have had to shut down even if only temporarily, but they are adapting and working to rebound and help their small business grow, ” said Nikhil Arora, Vice President and Managing Director, GoDaddy India.
The survey was conducted by the Savanta Group, a global research firm, during the month of June 2020 and surveyed 5,265 small business owners across 10 countries including India, Philippines, Australia, Germany, The United Kingdom and The United States, amongst others. The sample size in India was 500 small business owners with 25 or fewer workers, out of which majority of the respondents had 10 or less employees.